Blogging, Influencing, Uncategorized

Obsession with ROI misses the forest for the trees

ROI is a big topic these days in the blogging and social media space. I think it’s a bit of a red herring.

What triggered my thoughts on this was Jay Baer’s post Calculate Your Blogging ROI in 9 Steps in which he does a nice job detailing a sample ROI calculation for business blogging.

It seems to me that ROI is a highly relative calculation and largely a function of your time horizon.

If you’re just starting out blogging, you need to push out the time line within which you are calculating your return on investment. On the other hand, if you’re established and have audience and can drive action, ROI becomes more a function of how effective your content is or how good the margin is on your product/service.

In many situations, blogging is one element among many that contributes to client conversion – however defined – which only further complicates the discussion of ROI.

It’s not unreasonable to look at any expenditure of resources in a business setting from the perspective of ROI. But when it comes to measuring value in the form of enhanced reputation and brand trust, ROI may not be the most effective instrument.

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  1. Hi Jay. Thanks for the post and the link. Indeed, ROI isn’t as cut and dried as I made it sound, and it’s not the perfect calculation for all circumstances. However, I find that most people – even big companies – are closer to measuring blogging based on something semi-crazy like traffic and comments than they are something more nuanced than ROI.

    To me, the time horizon isn’t the key so much as understanding what behaviors actually drive business success. Not nearly enough attention is paid to behavior chains and cross-platform analytics in most companies. Yet!

    1. Couldn’t agree more, Jay. The ROI discussion ends up acting as a smoke screen, obscuring the real returns. Thanks for your feedback.

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